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Superintendent's District Update - October 2018

Falls City Public Schools Superintendent’s District Update – October 9, 2018

The Falls City Public Schools held its regular monthly meeting on October 8, 2018. Here are the highlights of the meeting.

A Discussion on Nebraska School Funding Data and Information on State Support for Public Education - When thinking about the level of STATE funding for Nebraska PreK-12 public schools, would you agree that the current system relies too much on LOCAL sources? Here are the facts. 

• Nebraska ranks 49th.  Only New Hampshire is worse.  Nebraska is 58.7% funded by local dollars.

• Falls City Public Schools receives zero State Equalization aid, therefore 87% funded by local dollars.

• New Hampshire is 61.1% ‐ Has no income tax 

• Other states that have over 50% of funding from local sources: 

•Connecticut, Illinois, Maryland, Massachusetts, Maine, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, and Rhode Island, 

• Also, Texas and South Dakota and have no income tax.  Source, Census Bureau

School Facilities Funding

• Only four states—Nebraska, Nevada, Oklahoma, and South Dakota have no role in helping local school districts pay for public school facilities and improvements. 

• Source – Texas Legislative Council ‐ State Roles in Financing Public School Facilities

How do we spend the Money? 

• Nebraska is ranked #3 in the nation with percentage of education spending going to the classroom.

• Only Minnesota and New York rank higher

• New York = $22,369 per student – 70.4% to classroom 

• Minnesota = $12,382 per student ‐ 65.21% to classroom 

• Nebraska = $12,299 per student – 65.11% to classroom (FC Public Schools 81% to classroom) 

• Source – U.S. Census Bureau – 2016

Falls City Public Schools Early Childhood Program Experiencing Growth - Parent-Child Center Director Stacey Vitosh, described the increased program enrollment as meeting the needs of the Falls City community. The PCC enrollment has more than doubled in the past year and currently serves approximately 66 children ages 3 & 4. The program supports five preschool sections with no more than 13 students in a classroom section per day, and offers morning, afternoon or all-day services. The early childhood instructional staff is comprised of four certified teachers, specially trained in early childhood instructional strategies at the Bachelor’s and Master’s degree levels and/or Early Childhood Special Education, and four early childhood paraeducators with Child Development Associate credentials. The Early Childhood program is also supported through early intervention specialists in speech and language, health, vision, and hearing. The Falls City Parent-Child Center continues the reputation of one of Nebraska’s first school-based early childhood programs and serves as a successful model locally, regionally, and across Nebraska. 

Nebraska Loves Public Schools Ambassador Dr. Keith Rohwer Visits last Thursday and Friday – Great kids. Great programs. Great staff. So many reasons to be proud! From the Education Quest/Apply2College Program, to the District’s Mental Health Initiative, to PALS and the District 56 Strategic Plan. The visit concluded with the First Friday Breakfast with community members, Board members and faculty in attendance, demonstrating great support for the Falls City Public Schools. 

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The District 56 Board of Education acted on several items before concluding the regular meeting. 

1) Approved the early pay-off and redemption of the School District’s 10-year Limited Tax Obligation Bonds which supported the HVAC improvement project at the Middle School in 2008. 

2) Approved Board Policy Revisions and Review on the following:

  • Employment Related Sexual Harassment Policy 4223
  • Certified Staff Employment / Terms / Contract 6110
  • Certified Staff Duties / Teachers 6111
  • Certified Staff Professional Growth / Teachers 6113
  • Professional Leave 6114
  • Foreign Exchange Students 7123

The next regular monthly Board of Education meeting is scheduled for November 12, 2018, at 7:00 P.M. in the Central Office in Falls City Middle School. Regular and special meeting agendas are kept in the Office of the Superintendent, Tim Heckenlively.